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An Absolutely Remarkable Thing
An Absolutely Remarkable Thing: A Novel | Hank Green
In his much-anticipated debut novel, Hank Green--cocreator of Crash Course, Vlogbrothers, and SciShow--spins a sweeping, cinematic tale about a young woman who becomes an overnight celebrity before realizing she's part of something bigger, and stranger, than anyone could have possibly imagined. The Carls just appeared. Coming home from work at three a.m., twenty-three-year-old April May stumbles across a giant sculpture. Delighted by its appearance and craftsmanship--like a ten-foot-tall Transformer wearing a suit of samurai armor--April and her friend Andy make a video with it, which Andy uploads to YouTube. The next day April wakes up to a viral video and a new life. News quickly spreads that there are Carls in dozens of cities around the world--everywhere from Beijing to Buenos Aires--and April, as their first documentarian, finds herself at the center of an intense international media spotlight. Now April has to deal with the pressure on her relationships, her identity, and her safety that this new position brings, all while being on the front lines of the quest to find out not just what the Carls are, but what they want from us. Compulsively entertaining and powerfully relevant, An Absolutely Remarkable Thing grapples with big themes, including how the social internet is changing fame, rhetoric, and radicalization; how our culture deals with fear and uncertainty; and how vilification and adoration spring from the same dehumanization that follows a life in the public eye.
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TheatreSpaz
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Pickpick

I ended up loving this book. You may recall that April May, the main character, didn't really do it for me. In the end she was so human and relatable. Did she make a lot of stupid decisions? Jfc, yeah she did. I spent most of the book wanting to shake her. But that made for a compelling read. The actual story is amazing. (Continued in comments...)

TheatreSpaz It's about being a human and what that means, it's about political polarization, and the effects of social media on content creators. It's sci-fi, but it's mostly a story about a woman and how she deals with extraordinary circumstances. It's not hard to understand at all. I can't wait to read the sequel. 2mo
7 likes1 comment
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TheatreSpaz
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I have to say, if this was a story JUST about April May and her romantic endeavors, I don't think I'd keep reading. BUT the Carls and the Dream are DEEPLY fascinating and I want, I NEED, to know more.
I'm starting to understand a little about my reading tastes (they've changed so much), specifically what I'm looking for in a main character (though I find it difficult to put into words) - I want them to care about others. (Continued in comments.)

TheatreSpaz I also REALLY don't like tunnel vision or selfishness or self-centered decisions. I have always needed a book to have characters I can emphasize with and like. This book DOES! BUT April May is a mess and her decisions come across as a little juvenile. I guess I have to concede that she IS 23 and I know what I was like at that age - an absolute idiot. 2mo
11 likes1 comment
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TheSpineView
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Mehso-so

I really thought I was going to love this book. However, it fell short for me. I never connected with the main character April and the story was flat. I actually thought the book was too commercial for my tastes. My husband has coined a phrase he uses overly commercial things. He says, "It got Hollywooded!" ? 3⭐️

TheSpineView This is my July #BookSpin book! @TheAromaofBooks 3mo
TheAromaofBooks Woohoo!! 3mo
59 likes2 comments
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AshleyKorinE
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Pickpick

This book surprised me with how weird and fun it was, but then again it was written by Hank Green and that‘s his whole internet presence. So it follows April who comes upon a robot she decides to name Carl. Turns out there‘s tons of them all over the world and it‘s a science fiction adventure with robot aliens! This felt like a complete story and I could hardly put it down, falling in love with the characters and the carls!

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peanutnine
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Pickpick

This was such an interesting speculative fiction novel. It follows April's discovery of one of many mysterious statues that have suddenly appeared around the world. While the story feels like a giant puzzle to solve, it also examines the effect of social media and fame on a person's perception of themself. It ended on a bit of a cliffhanger so adding this and the sequel to my #SeriesRead2022 @TheSpineView

TheSpineView Awesome! 4mo
39 likes1 stack add1 comment
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jessjess
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Pickpick

This practically read itself in a day. It really grabbed me right away with the mystery then kept me engrossed with the fame/social media/puzzles/political aspects of it all. Nice ending, can't wait for the next one! A good choice for sci-fi/alien fans that are looking for a quick, easy read.

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peanutnine
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Since I read so many books at once, I have multiple chains going for #ThingsInCommon
This one continues with books by the Green brothers
@Clwojick

Clwojick Awesome!! 6mo
41 likes1 comment
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Nutmegnc
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My April #bookspinbingo list s READY! @TheAromaofBooks

TheAromaofBooks Yay!!! 6mo
43 likes1 comment
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ChaoticMissAdventures
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Pickpick

Soft pick. This was good it felt a bit too manic for me which isn't a surprise since I know who Hank Green is and often find him a bit overwhelming. But I also find him smart and fun and that shines through in this. There is a very abrupt end for the tension to build for the second book, I am not a huge series reader and didn't feel invested enough to pick up the next (why it gets a soft pick).

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Kenyazero
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Pickpick

This is a quirky one! It was fun seeing all of the crowdsourcing that powers the Carls mystery. That is a very fun element of this read. The social and political commentary is also interesting as opposing groups form to challenge the Carl situation. I didn't like April very much, sadly. She seemed like someone wasn't sure what 20 year olds are like and used YouTube and Instagram to research 😏 #LGBTQ #SciFi #Robot #Alien #Crowdsource

Nutmegnc This is in my wish list! 9mo
Kenyazero @Nutmegnc it's a fun read, so it'll be worth the wait :) 9mo
20 likes2 stack adds2 comments
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TheSpineView
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Klou Great job! 10mo
TheSpineView @Klou 👍🤩😊 10mo
49 likes2 comments
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kathytrithardt
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Pickpick

I love this duology.

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limada
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Pickpick

I had no expectations going into this but I would have been blown away even if I had. What a great book; so many themes and thoughts and ways to reflect on different perspectives. Definitely loved it.

GondorGirl I'm listening to this one right now and it's really blowing my mind! 14mo
8 likes1 comment
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GondorGirl
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It was a busy weekend and I didn't get much reading done, but this afternoon I listened to a few more hours of this audiobook and organized all of my stationary and stickers. I'm all ready to start replying to my #LitsyLove penpals!

Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks Yay!!! 📝📬💌 14mo
42 likes1 comment
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GondorGirl
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Working my way through this fantastic audiobook while redesigning our business cards.

We just want to make pretty things... I don't think either of us realized how much non-glamorous behind the scenes work there is. Branding, social media, accounting, scheduling, logistics... I'm so impressed with small businesses that make this look easy! 😳😭😅

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SassenachTheBookWizard
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My friend gifted me a copy of the sequel and Hank Green is my tiktok dad so figured I'd give this a shot

40 likes1 stack add1 comment
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kathytrithardt
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Question of the Day: What authors do you enjoy following online? #QotD

Eggbeater John Scalzi and Roxane Gay share my views of the world 1y
16 likes1 comment
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MajorCasey
Pickpick

This book went where I didn't expect. Characters to both love and hate. Relevant to today's social media soaked culture. Looking forward to the sequel.

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roseeemarie
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I just started reading An Absolutely Remarkable Thing. The first paragraph on this page is a great example of how Hank Green balances the serious tone in a mostly funny book. The shifts in tone make me happy.
Science Fiction is usually not my favorite but I like this so far. I can‘t wait to finish it. #anabsolutelyremarkablething #hankgreen #baddecisions

suvata Loved that book 2y
15 likes1 comment
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LaraS
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For any Hank Green fans out there...if you donate $12 to Project For Awesome today/tomorrow you can get a short story in which our main character of the tagged book April May meets Hank at vidcon. Proceeds go to Save the Children and Partners in Health before noon today, and to various community chooses charities after noon today until noon tomorrow.

https://projectforawesome.com

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ItsAnotherJen
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Pickpick

Wow. This is quite the book!
I couldn't stop reading it.
The last line has me grabbing for the next book in the series. I've never read anything like this. It's an unusual ride, that's for sure!
I've heard the audiobook is excellent, and I almost wish I could of experienced it that way. I bet it would be a lot like reading 'Ready Player One' vs listening to it.

(Also recommend going into it blind, don't read what it's about)

4.5/5 stars

ItsAnotherJen Love these lines from Hank Green in the acknowledgements: "I also want to thank every single person who ever says, “You have to read this book!” to a friend. I don‘t care if it‘s this book; I just want people to remind each other how wonderful books are." ?? 2y
Texreader Ok stacking on your say-so! 😃 2y
Trashcanman 💥 2y
See All 6 Comments
Sargar114 Good call on going in blind. I got it from BOTM forever ago and just got around to reading it a few months ago...so I forgot the premis...boy what a ride! I may have to try the audiobook eventually 2y
ItsAnotherJen @Sargar114 It was quite the ride! Not what I was expecting. The 2nd book is rated even higher than the first one, so I'm looking forward to seeing what happens next. 2y
ItsAnotherJen @Texreader I hope you enjoy it! 2y
123 likes5 stack adds6 comments
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bouktique
Pickpick

352 pages. It is hard to believe it is Hank Green's first book! I started reading it yesterday, it was cloudy Sunday afternoon, and found myself at 3 am with finished book and a fast beating heart from intensity. I am not a fan of extraterestrial stories but this one is fascinating and contains a trully unique point of view. How would you react if Carl appeared in your universe?
#hankgreen #carl #aprilmaybenot #anabsolutelyremarkablething

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qchammer
Pickpick

A flawed and almost laughably millennial narrator and yet I loved this book and immediately looked up how to get the sequel. Great examination of modern fame and the destruction (or evolution) of self authenticity against public perception. What happens when you can‘t stop curating yourself?

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Twainy
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Pickpick

🎧 I loved this story. Did the author think that I had to hate April May or it wouldn‘t have worked? I kept listening in the hope that she‘d redeem herself. It‘s a narrative on the social media plague. Still I loved the idea of the Carls. I wish the author could have come up with a more likable MC! The narrator was great! IDK if I‘ll read the sequel as I didn‘t like the MC. The stars are for the story, narration & secondary characters. ⭐️⭐️⭐️

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Sargar114
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Pickpick

This was an absolutely remarkable story...I‘m sure it‘s been done, but still...I LOVED THIS!!! Probably my favorite read of the year. I loved April May even with her flaws and her “posse.” And what an ending!!!! I don‘t often read the acknowledgments, but when I saw he is John Greens brother I opted to read the rest. This last paragraph is fantastic. This was my #doublespin for the month on #bookspinbingo @TheAromaofBooks

Sargar114 I‘ve only read one John Green book (tagged) and while I did get similar vibes from he narrator, I think I prefer Hank Green‘s style 🤷🏼‍♀️ 2y
TheAromaofBooks Great progress!!! 2y
ItsAnotherJen I didn't realize he is John Green's brother! 😳 2y
Sargar114 @ItsAnotherJen I didn‘t either until I read this note. Then I saw they have a podcast or YouTube channel and everything 🤷🏼‍♀️ 2y
ItsAnotherJen @Sargar114 ooooh..I'm going to have to check that out! 2y
25 likes5 comments
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Sargar114
This post contains spoilers
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This book totally gets me. This song was my jam when it came out 😂🤣😂🤣

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Sargar114
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Very true!

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Sargar114
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Not just #firstlinefridays, but this first section! I knew from this it would be a fun read.

7 likes1 comment
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Sargar114
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Really enjoying this read so far!

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Ghostnipps
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Pickpick

Wow, the absolute relevance to today‘s media manipulations. I‘m stunned. Even through using science fiction to relay a message, it‘s great commentary about the reactionary nature of the world.

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TheSpineView
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OriginalCyn620 📚👍🏻📚 2y
55 likes1 stack add2 comments
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Jovy
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Pickpick

Giant robots in the age of social media? Very interesting concept. I thought this was a fast-paced, engrossing read even though the main character April May was a bit annoying. Overall a worthy debut from Hank Green.

#PopSugar2020 A book about or involving social media

29 likes1 stack add
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Hannahjs98
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Pickpick

The very last line of this book had me YELLING!! An amazing read that took a second to get me invested but catapulted towards the end. Such a good musing on fame and youth with genuinely funny moments. April May, Andy, Miranda, Robin and Maya feel like friends

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IhoardBOOKS
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August reading part 1

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Traci1
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Mehso-so

⭐⭐⭐
I listened to this one on audio. Loved the narrator. Enjoyed the style of Green's writing. But the story itself was just sort of ok. It's one I'm glad I borrowed from the library rather than having bought it.

thegirlwiththelibrarybag Would you read the sequel? 2y
Traci1 @thegirlwiththelibrarybag I don't think so. I might feel differently after some time, but it isn't one that I have any interest in right now. 2y
54 likes2 comments
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8little_paws
Pickpick

Well, I enjoyed reading it and I'm holding on writing a true review until I complete this duology--I am halfway through the sequel right now and so far I am actually prefering book 2 to book 1. I would definetly recommend these two books if you're looking for a thoughtful adventure/sci-fi ROMP. Green includes a lot of characters in the book that don't look like him; thus far it seems he has done so respectfully.

32 likes1 stack add
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LaraS
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Great little tidbit on the design of the hidden-quote-meets-Manhattan-skyline end pages for this book:

https://blog.usejournal.com/aart-endsheets-a9e4c2175783

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Gryffleclaw95
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Pickpick

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ (4.5/5)

April May isn‘t wrong when she says that her story makes her sound like an unlikeable person with poor decision-making. Throughout the book, she is flawed, selfish, brave, and undeniably human. This book was slow to start, but by the end I was racing to find out what‘s next. The themes in this book are ones we in this social media age should take note of. This had some “Ready Player One” vibes and I‘m ready for its sequel.

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Sasstronaut
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1. An Absolutely Remarkable Thing by Hank Green. A re-read but an enjoyable one.
2. Two, actually - #LLReadathon with my Life‘s Library book club and #ReadingRush2020

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Sasstronaut

You can only do so much pretending before you become the thing you‘re pretending to be.

#teatime

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Sasstronaut
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1. An Absolutely Remarkable Thing (re-read for upcoming sequel!), Flying to Pieces
2. Redshirts by John Scalzi
3. “Of course it didn‘t work out that way.”
#weekendreads

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jmtrivera
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Pickpick

April May starts by telling us her story will reveal her as unlikable & a poor decision-maker. True. She repeatedly makes choices that hurt & disappoint people in order to prolong her celebrity. I still found it more a fascinating look at the effect attention & celebrity have on people than I found it an indictment of her. I don't think the story was wrapped up too well, but perhaps intentionally w/the upcoming sequel. Regardless, very engaging.

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Merethebookgal
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📖 May Wrap-Up 📖
May was a solid reading month. I liked everything I read, but I don‘t know if I had any stand-out reads. Of these, I read 1 hard copy, 1 ebook, and 4 audiobooks.

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EclecticReaders
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In this episode, Tara, Meredith, and Susan dive into an Absolutely Remarkable Thing by Hank Green. They discuss how an alien invasion could be surprisingly topical, the drawbacks of internet-fame, and if they too would be one of the Dreamers, solving puzzles with the rest of humanity. Listen at eclecticreaders.fireside.fm/82 or in your favorite podcast app under Eclectic Readers! #EclecticReaders #Podcast

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Merethebookgal
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Pickpick

I really enjoyed this book and found it quite compelling! It‘s an interesting mixture of SLEEPING GIANTS and READY PLAYER ONE with a snarky protagonist. The sequel comes out this summer, and I‘m interested in seeing where the stories goes!

mom2bugnbee Oooo, didn't know about the sequel! Thanks! My daughter loves the Green brothers. 2y
Hooked_on_books SEQUEL?!!?!!! That‘s great news! 2y
Merethebookgal @mom2bugnbee @Hooked_on_books Yup!! It‘s called A Beautifully Foolish Endeavor and according to Goodreads, its pub date is July 7th! 2y
55 likes3 comments
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EclecticReaders
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New month, new book!

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jmtrivera
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Haven't done one of these in a while!
1. I didn't, exactly. My parents did. 😄
2. Teacher, currently from a distance
3. Besides work, books, puzzles, time with my Minisaurus and the hubby. And lots of video calls - more than even before the lockdowns!
4. Just starting the tagged.
5. Take it slow, appreciate the little things, and revisit old hobbies. 😊

@Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks

Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks Thanks for playing 💛💛💛 2y
17 likes2 comments
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EatSleepRead
Panpan

No photo, as it was donated.

I actually really, really disliked this book. The main characters are shallow and driven by social media popularity. Yuck, on so many levels. The actual story of the "statue" was interesting, if not bizarre (and trust me, I like an odd story line). Even the story line left me wanting more substance.
I know a sequel is coming out soon, maybe it will redeem the story a bit...

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MelKelsey
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Pickpick

Book 42 I listened to this strange, unique, and pertinent? book. April discovers a big statue in the street. Assuming it's art, she calls a friend to film her introducing it to the public; she names it Carl. The Carls' story gets supernatural-weird, yet, well-done and interesting. April narrates from after the fact, which adds a layer of hindsight and intrigue, as you try to unravel meaning and attempt to predict what's going to happen.